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January 19, 2021 5:00 am
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Hi I'm Jim Daly are you struggling to make sense of all the chaos it's happening around us.
It's time to come together to pray for our country. Join with Focus on the Family on inauguration day tomorrow to pray for our country for marriages for families, churches, and for unity with our fellow citizens subscribe to our YouTube channel and pray with us live at 10 AM Eastern time on inauguration firstname.lastname@example.org/national prayer. Well, you didn't catch that little Jack loves dinosaurs and pizza and ice cream. He said his mom is his best friend you'll hear more from his mom today Focus on the Family she's our guest, and a host of presidents and other Jim Daly I'm John John it's impossible to hear that little voice and not have a smile on your face. That's the amazing thing about children even when times are tough. Her life was hard, they can always bring us joy and hope. And I think they do a course I understand that it doesn't always feel like that, especially in the midst of an unplanned pregnancy, and we've covered that many times on the program at the enemy and the world tries so hard to shame women in that situation. Convincing them that they ruin their lives by getting pregnant and many times entire families feel the weight of that condemnation as well. But, as Paul reminds us in Romans eight for those who love God all things work for good and sometimes we struggle to figure that out. But over time it usually reveals itself this week during sanctity of human life.
Week we want to highlight God's amazing love for each and every one of us and how he can take even the most difficult situation and turn it into something beautiful and yet we have quite a story today Courtney Ray Chapman and her dad Kevin Ray with us and Courtney as a wife and a mom and Kevin is a businessman and CEO. He's married to Kim and let me mention there will be some discussions about mature topics today so you want to direct the attention of little ones elsewhere that Courtney and Kevin welcomed Focus on the Family excited to be heading and your dad and daughter and it's awesome to see you guys and just watching interact. I see the love that you have for each other.
Courtney, I want to jump right in with your story. You were in your early 20s with big dreams of becoming a professional singer and songwriter when you got some news that was going to derail you thought those plans would happen and I had a boyfriend and overlap had a whole plan cannot have sex before marriage lightly and and I failed at that and I kinda kept that secret. Eventually, my family found out that it was something that always struggled with how to get through these times as remaining.
I really love this guy think it's okay and I'm just struggling with the temptation and make a long story short, met this guy love my life I became pregnant and it wasn't planned. It wasn't on the right time at all, let me ask you and Morgan unfold that story. But let me ask you, you were raised in a Christian home. I know dad is sitting right next you and I appreciate your vulnerability or openness to talk about this because these are things that many families face and if it's not this topic, it will be something else and I is so helpful and instructive to hear from people that have gone through it and what was good and what was more difficult.
But Courtney, I want to end this year you raised in that kind of good Christian home you made that purity commitment as you said and I'm a father of two young adult men 18 and 20 and I have to ask what from your perspective went wrong with that absorption of that message me what what would you say at the core of that unit of failing. You know what I think if I look back on my teen years and at home and at church. Every time sex was brought up it was like this black box that you just don't touch. And I feel like there was never this discussion to any degree of how it's a gift. It's a beautiful thing. I feel like if I felt more comfortable talking I might have felt like the temptation I'm struggling and it was just playing fetch of a light that we don't talk about that and I didn't want to let my family down you know if we can even talk about it church doesn't even talk about it.
I definitely don't want them to know I'm struggling with illness not unique to let your dad off the hook a little bit here because we all struggle with his Christian parents, particularly because were uncomfortable with the topic right and a lot of Christian marriages struggle with the freedom of that gift that God gives us in marriage. We do a lot of counseling with couples and struggle even after they're married with the idea that this is okay now so you know we get it and we understand the taboos. Let me ask you though before he turned your dad when you told your parents about the pregnancy. Your dad said some words that really impacted you and what did he say he had basically in a nutshell that I was a disappointment that I let him down. I let the family name down and it validated my own self fear because that's how I felt and that's what I didn't want to tell anybody. I wanted to keep it in the dark.
You know what you feared was coming about first from you that Kevin will return to you and I your boldness is plausible. So thank you for being here. Both of your stories when you hear Courtney say that doesn't make you feel. It makes me want to tear up you not know that I had a tremendous opportunity in that moment and I didn't take me well, but I mean you're on the other side of it. Like we said in the beginning Romans that works for you to absolutely just your daughter in the situation so I mean described that frustration. What a night. I think I understand being a dad when you get that news.
It's like frying pan, and upside your head. What did you feel like what I felt the anger I felt frustration I felt like I had been betrayed. I mean, I put myself first. You know, and instead of me. Now, if that's what you want to get into, but I felt mad I was ticked off that I thought your blue what I had planned for her.
Which is part of the problem, but there was a lot of my just you know honestly looking back in retrospect, I was caught spiritually unprepared for the knees, and I should have been. Like I said it was a beautiful moment that I could've hit out of the park for my Lord and really come alongside her and that's why still so raw yet to hear her say the truth, I was a true check sleep. It was better than what I did. It just saddens me. You know that I was ready to hear this news and I can hide behind. I just wanted her best but quite frankly exactly what she said I was embarrassed I didn't want to bring it up. I want to talk about it. I didn't understand how she could put us in this position, and it was just into degree that's pointing to. Yeah, she's a reflection of you and your family and that's going to be part of what this is rooted in the same what have you done look at this is feared to absolutely that was protecting my best friend tight and my whole childhood. I nearly had my back and I didn't want to let him down now and I think more than anyone. I was mystified because I had detox and I knew what he expected and it was scary to let someone that at the time was the most influential person in my life now. Hey, I failed pregnant and you and I appreciate that the I guess it is were talking about this hole that was being Doug let me take the next shovel load out because what crossed your mind Kevin. His dad was his abortion option. I mean you actually had that flash of a thought because it would be easy. Yes, absolutely. And you know I got great counsel for my friends and in church members that, in retrospect, I look back yeah. And part of the problem with that was I think the verbiage.I was saying whether was from the adversary. My own fears and frustration and anger was. It was a situation of the problem to be dealt with in looking back in retrospect I can see how the Lord let know it was a child, a baby and if I had a thought and use those terms. It would maybe help me not even look at flash through my mind and him and I don't normally do this summer to give you heads up because toward the end of the program on the ask you to replay the tape that would've been better. You said the Lord gave you an opportunity so just think about that as we continue through because my last question to you is going to be played the tape back differently and that really will be of benefit for those of us, like I said my two young boys. I may get that new someday, so that for the listener who either just heard the news or is about to hear this news that their daughter, their son there pregnant and not married.
So give that some thought.
As we continue through Courtney. I want her back to you because it's really important and I'm speaking to you as a dad. You know, again, were we all fall short right but this idea that you know we have this projection of perfection.
If I could say it that way that we want our kids we want ourselves winter marriages to reflect Christ. It's not a bad goal. It's a noble goal.
It's a good thing. When that becomes more important than what's real, then were in trouble and coming back to you again. You say that at the time you felt love from your parents.
You talked about your relationship with your dad. You're in church you know that God loves you, and yet describe that idea that perfection seemed to be the goal.
In fact I think he use the soccer story. What happened with the soccer story that really does suggest you know we expect a lot of that's just federal example.
I remember growing up I always an athlete that's not the reason we're so close, he simply had to get your love language and it was just one time he and I remember as being a practice and I love this man was so involved he didn't miss a practice, let alone again and he is the dad taking them to practice and help me in the practice getting and is great that and there's one particular packs.
I remember when I was young I don't 1213 and I mystical or something and I looked at the syllabus that he took his hat off any rafting which is track and it so much because it means you feel like you and instead of what it was. Maybe like he was there to watch me but he wanted me to be the best and I know that comes from a place of wanting me to succeed and because we practice together and I never had good intentions but at the time mainly feel like you have to be perfect. If I even messed up. I'm not worth sticking around for you now. Oh, I know I get this in again and I applaud your vulnerability both of you to build sure.
So honestly about this because so many of us in the Christian to really cover we sweep this over. Right now I don't I'm unconditionally my love. But most often were not. We need to see some performance and then were going to give you the data girls with the boys, but in that context, let's jump back to your story. We talked about your dad's instinct, or is thought about abortion. What was your process there. Did you think about that and what did you try to do instantly mean and I'm embarrassed to say that because I come from homeschool Christian school background. I know abortion is wrong.
I believe that arguing with people at in high school that I think abortion is wrong here. I am sitting in a gas station parking lot. I can even go home to take a pregnancy test.
I took it at a gas station I don't buy one seat in the garbage. I just want expected at anyone at the house like I did want to keep it in your own little entity and I'm sitting in a gas station parking lot. Myla white Acura first thought that popped into my head as I got have an abortion and it scared me to myself because it you know how I was raised on one side of me and my fear on the other side and in the midst of the moment everything I stand against it matter anymore the way out was just so tempting. So how did the process play out over hours, days, etc. what happened. So I called Tucker and was my boyfriend at the time we had been together long so I'm thinking this relationship definitely that I called and I was crying I just answered the phone and I said I'm pregnant. It's okay I understand were were done and I hung up, like you have to do it, I'll do outtake wafers not sat there like kind and is like you present so I got in my car and I kinda pause that lots of abortion and just transitioned it to. Okay, let's just accept what's happening for a minute right you had that conversation and I don't know exactly what took place there but you still made a appointment with Planned Parenthood and telling that they had a phone counselor and she answered, and as a receptionist.
They put me on the line with somebody and she was the total opposite of what I was expecting from church my family, my friends, it was so welcoming and like sweetheart it's okay listen, you don't have to explain everyone's been there. We got this covered no one will now don't worry, it was so like Connie is what I needed and reinforced.
It's not a baby yeah just a bunch is not a baby you don't have to face your parents will never have to know your friends will never have to now we can just don't even let it hurt you. We can get this handled it like it was just as simple as you know, just a recent something right in that deadly schedule and I made an appointment and tell anybody that appointment and so you're headed to the appointment and what happened. So I'm driving to the appointment and that is very stoic state of mind usually listen to music and now happy driver and just three days later. Four days later week for about a week later. Okay and and they had found out they had freaked out your parents and they didn't know I was contemplating like what's the harm to synagogue skincare amount time on my way down I'm driving and for the first time I just get this image in my head and sitting at a stoplight and it's not out of left field and it's what I picture Jesus to be standing in heaven is holding the baby and I'm just letting the significance of that is so random and when he spoke just changed everything change my entire life and he said one of us is going to hold this child and the decision of who that's going to be is up to you. It's going to be you or me as powerful. I want to go right by the that's an amazing experience and I think seeing him like a baby that in his arms. It really hit home for Susan saying this is in a clump of cell to child and really someone is believing that I believe in heaven if I go through this abortion. He is in a hold my child I want to hold that baby and it just I wanted to take the power back and try to write my wrong and you turn around, I instantly stop a pullover.
Tucker was completely supportive of our decision. He wanted the same thing I was battling him running will that's Courtney Ray Chapman Junior did Kevin Ray are our guest today on Focus on the Family and we want you know here if you're facing some things in life that you didn't plan on that are causing a lot of angst in the really troublesome to your soul.
Give us a call. Let us connect you with one of our caring Christian counselors we have other resources as well. Our number here 800 K in the word family or you can click the link in the episode notes Courtney you decided to turn around. He didn't go through with the abortion, but you still thought your parents were disappointed in you. But you saw shift after that first ultrasound and we believe in ultrasound so described and then what you saw with your day at the moment as well written ultrasound room and nine Rain Man, you know what to expect and never been pregnant before long.
I think this is early maybe 10 weeks and this is one it wasn't much to see but you could definitely see little legs and partly was probably that was the first thing that the sound before the picture came up and the heartbeat was just like it just made it real amazing this is not just a baby like mine my baby. You sound like you're excited.
I found out that you got let me record this like a heartbeat. They put it on the screen. The picture on the screen, ultrasound, and I just we all might add is that my mom was staring at me any talk about 180. Everyone in the room started crying as she is the baby and everything. It's a gift it's a gift.
It's so crazy how God can turn something that we are also afraid of an hour were excited to life and we get to see little legs and arms move when it sounds like what happens in that circumstance again. I haven't been in this differently, but if it doesn't, will react, put priority start to fall into better place right of fear abates and looking down the road. What this child will be starts to fill your dreams and your ideas in your thoughts Kevin about you with that ultrasound will go through your mind will the Lord had been working on the lick lick your daughters getting support from father. She's getting better support for Planned Parenthood at this point, you know, I mean it was humble and breaking it culminated at the ultrasound.
It definitely was a watershed moment where we could see life we could see I did it just was absolutely riveting and it change the narrative. Like I said the verbiage from that point on, there's no question every conversation.
Somebody said hey how is Corey doing with the situation but if she's having a baby is a child just dramatic shift in the mental focus and thought pattern of seeing that in her womb was just amazing. You talk about the change that you had in your parenting style and this is maybe the core for us parents that are listening yes describes that held this experience changed how you viewed the parenting role not just this experience also counseling you know has showed me that she glossed over pretty good that the soccer incident. There was many and I would love to cling to the narrative that it was because I was just so encouraged for her, but it was unhealthy were you driven. It was on I was already there, read between the lines and it was a pretty intense scrimmage, and there was a scout there, and so there's a bit more to the store but I've learned through this that I cannot. When my child stumbles and she begins to let the Lord pick her up and walked down the godly path I cannot be a hindrance in any way shape or form on her earthly father and what she gleams in those moments for me has a direct impact how she views her heavenly father is true you make me cry now so knock it off. Can I say one thing and tear and told you this, how much it meant to me that agitate me recounting how awesome that ultrasound limitless.
You said something he did to Jack little backflip on his legs and your family said. He said that's my girl soccer legs moment. It was like you know it's Titan Michael past 20 years, you know that's my baby soccer legs and now it's on disappointed and excited first grandson sweet as it's changing the mindset from you know what we have bought into what we believe.
Even in the Christian community. This is a clump of tissue. It's really not a baby tell you that they reinforce the you know it's baby and all it needs time and then you have Jack and he's probably already know running on that sort of feel and imagine a three but you did end up marrying Jack's dad in you have another son together now and how are you doing people never asked. You have and we have a one-year-old William and those two boys are peas in a pod as busy you were doing guide for dealing with normal marriage and that was really the next question so often, fears going to grip the young couple like the easier not to make the right decisions when you're in an environment of fear.
It's are just like your dad said, did your husband give you the confidence to know what's get married. Let's do the right thing. We got married before Jack was born and it wasn't a shotgun type of wedding thing. It was really because he wanted to show me that he was committed to me and that he used the terms he said when I want to be a family.
When Jack's born. I just want to be family and so is like an impressive young man forward to meeting him someday, Kevin wore to the point and I want to speak to the parent who's going through some kind of crisis with their adult child or twentysomething. Most likely, maybe the late teenager. What would you say to them to help them get through the time and to cling to the Lord. Basically the things that you've learned really the question I was going ask you, you can roll the tape back. How would you have responded differently or that's one of the reasons I wanted to, you know I love Courtney story in a normal part of it.
But the reason I wanted come most is any father that could potentially be in a spot I was thank you understand this is a gift from God, where you can exhibit his kingdom's principles to your child in a way that is real in a way that is tangible to encourage her or him to strengthen them to come alongside them to cherish the fact that after stumbling there taken a path towards life. I beg you don't make the mistakes I did. That's the whole purpose of being here, second ball, I think that I would've prayed. Now knowing now to ask God to give me a glimpse of what I have now Jack he is my buddy. I mean, I love you called me. People we hang out all the time.
He's an absolute joy. He actually is, help my theology because every time I get to him.
His wonderment, his sense of joy.
His happiness he could step right from this planet into the kingdom of God right now and have no issue mind reminds me that that's what we have to be like to enter the kingdom of heaven.
And to think I could have in any way played a part in having him not be here stagger well and I know people have already gone through this situation and maybe they did make the right decision and now they're caring that burden so man I want to make sure you know focus is here for you with counselors on either side of this.
Call us and get the help you need.
Don't hold back in John will give those details in a moment. Courtney, let's go back to where we started.
We talked about you having a desire to be songwriters, and you haven't put that aside, have you and you've done it, you continue to write soon to do the things that were in the deepest part of your hearts effect.
We have a clip of the song you wrote is a message to women considering abortion him and talk about your passion been borne out your pain and I want to play that as we close can we do that we will be seeing you and hope you choose you place to so many areas of our lives and what courage you both have shown people can be touched. All I can say is help us save babies part of the part of the ministry at $60 with option ultrasound to show the girl and perhaps her boyfriend and maybe her mom and dad to what is growing inside her womb and the I don't think it's a better percentage of our option ultrasound program approaching 500,000 babies that have been saved through that effort. We do invite you to join us in that if you can earn a spot to make a six dollar monthly pledge that would be awesome. Point of need. If you are not sure what's going to happen next. And you need some encouragement to give us a call. Our numbers 800 K and the word family 800-232-6459 or click the link in the episode notes Courtney and Kevin, thanks for the pleasure. Thank you for joining us today or focus on family.
Be sure to be back here next time. As we hear how a simple act of kindness can change your life in a profound way. Kindness means you open yourself up and you allow your imperfections to be exposed because that's how you make yourself receivable on behalf of Jim Daly in the entire team. Thanks for joining us for Focus on the Family I'm John Fuller inviting back and help you and your family in Christ. January is sanctity of human life, month, and you can join Focus on the Family as we love every heart with you. Join us for the March for life in Washington DC. Or make an impact where you live. We can all stand up for the truth, and for life. Share your heart, your kindness and your hope with others through the 2021 March for life and sanctity of human life, month focusonthefamily.com/March for life focusonthefamily.com/March for life